Ode To Abu

Saturday, 27 April 2013

P for Petawrap!

This blog post is part of the A to Z Challenge. This challenge involves writing a blog post on any topic/theme in the order of the alphabets from A-Z. The blog posts have to be written each day through the entire month of April, excluding Sundays. 

My chosen theme is the city of Chennai - sights, sounds, tastes, its happenings, events, and my memories and experiences connected with this place.
Petawrap is Chennai’s only street food kiosk that ‘wraps’, rocks and ‘rolls’ with food on-the-go. Young entrepreneur Rakesh Raghunathan comes across as an earnest and eager-to-please business owner. He also happens to be a well-known Carnatic music vocalist. With 3 years of understanding the nitty-gritties of the evolving food scenario in the city, Rakesh has a keen grip on what sells and how. --- 11 kiosks strong and currently welcoming franchisees, Petawrap has seen a spurt in sales and has a visible presence in all the major areas in town.
Pic Courtesy: Chinna Win
Petawrap offers bites and snacks in the form of stuffed wraps, - popularly known as street food - through a centralized kitchen, systematic processes, and ultra hygienic packaging methods. The fillings of the wraps are packed in vacuum-sealed and nitrogen-flushed plastic, and delivered to their kiosks across the city. At the kiosk itself, once a customer places an order, which is made in front of him/her, the standards of cleanliness and hygiene are apparent to all. The kiosk handlers and cooks use gloves throughout the cooking process, giving respite to the hungry customer’s palate as well as the senses. The vegetarian and non-vegetarian fillings are all cooked, packed and handled carefully and separately with different gloves and tools, and separate kitchens and grills. Utensils and oils are also different. Once ready to eat, the wraps are packed in colour-coded green and red paper holders respectively.
Pic Courtesy: Roshan Kuruvilla Thomas
My very first home delivery order from Petawrap a year ago was a disappointing experience. A lot of time went in discussing and adjusting the quantity of my order just to meet the minimum order requirements and dealing with the incompetence of the delivery service. When the wraps finally arrived, I was eager to dig into the paneer and vada pav, which were supposedly the famed specialties. The wraps were unfortunately cold and lacked ‘bite’ and flavour, and the chutneys/sauce particularly in the vada pav, had dried up. Despite this rather unsatisfactory experience, I was eager to give it a second try, this time hot off the grill.

Recently, Rakesh invited Chennai Food Guide (CFG) members to showcase the latest cooking and packing methods at a CFG Food Trial event. He was happy to address customer queries and open to candid feedback. About 12 of us gathered outside a Petawrap outlet for an up close and personal experience in a life of a wrap. After a ‘crisp’ briefing, he offered us the corn capsicum wrap-eat-zaa, the newest entrant on the Petawrap menu. A tasty, spicy mix to tingle our taste buds and flag off the ‘wrap foodathon’ with; we were all geared up for more. And boy, was there a lot more to come!
Corn & Capsicum Wrap-eat-zaa
The 1st wrap-eat-zaa’s chapati (Indian flat bread) was a tad less cooked to my liking; it was possible that it was prepared and served to us in a hurry and hence the slight rawness factor. The wraps that we tried in quick succession were cooked well, some were even grilled; probably the grill was well and truly fired up by then!!
The corn & capsicum wrap-eat-zaa was soon followed by generous quantities of filling in the form of the flaming hot paneer wrap (if you’re a paneer lover and one who enjoys fire on your tongue, this one is made just for you – filling, satisfying and totally delish), cheesy paneer, chicken, veg manchurian (super spicy…keep the paper napkins…in plural, at hand), and 'chatpata' vada pav. The falafel wrap is available only on delivery as it is not package-storage-friendly, and is best prepared and eaten fresh.
This is the first street food style kiosk that has homeground advantage with its unique name. Coined as a spin on local areas/suburbs of Chennai city, many of which have ‘pet names’ – e.g. Saidapet, Alwarpet, Tondiarpet, Kolaikaranpet (tongue-twister this one!), Roya-pet-tah, Chrompet, etc. and the Tamil rap song by A. R. Rehman from the movie ‘Kadhalan’ that punned on the same subject, the name Petawrap was born. The only other competitor in the field here is the half-a-century old Mumbai-based Tibb’s Frankies outlets, which were the first in the city, but have now been outnumbered by Petawrap’s cute ‘autorickshaw-shaped’ kiosks – again adding in that local flavour – Chennai’s autos are well known over world over!

It is difficult to stop at a few wraps, not just after one! One can keep going since the varieties are the right quantity, perfectly bite-sized, and each one leaves you wanting one more! Do carry your own bottle of water as the only liquid available at the auto-shaped kiosk is a bottle of Coke, which is great if you’re a Coke fan.

With its oil-free, no-preservatives-added, long-lasting, fresh, tasty, healthy and hygienic quality, Petawrap is a viable investment on your wallet as well as your stomach.

Petawrap’s ad campaigns seem to favour superheroes and feature Spiderman and Superman delivering a rap…err…wrap. The lettering on the paper wrap wittily refers to how wraps pack a punch and hence might soon take over the world. According to Petawrap, a Superhero, who is a defender of humanity, needs one hand to grab a wrap on the go, and the other hand is kept free for self defense :-) 

So which Superhero would you prefer to swing by your place and hand you a wrap of your choice? :-)


  1. Seems like a good outlet have food on the go... and super hero... aaah... it would be Batman for me! :D

    1. Batman :) I'm sure someone else would prefer the Joker! :) And yes, the food is a cool grab on the go.

  2. I would want batman to come by my door step ;) then I would relish both
    U just made me hungry ! An elaborate review tooo

  3. Beautiful write up and bingo on the taste, same feel I had when I had the first bite was feeling less cooked and later on it was getting better.

  4. Nice write up & the name reminded me of the famous prabhudeva song:)